The Potter's Hands.

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.” -Jeremiah 18:1-3

I am officially introducing a photography project the Lord gave me a vision for a few months ago. This is my second photo project, yet it feels as if though it’s my first because of how excited I am about it! I pray this impacts you the same way it did me as I photographed and edited. Join me on this venture through the Potter’s House.

At life’s first breath, we are like a mound of clay; shapeless and lacking beauty, elegance, and form, but God, our Creator, sees us as quite the opposite: full of beautiful potential.

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” -Jeremiah 18:4

Sometimes as we are being shaped and formed by the circumstances of life, we become marred and deformed in the hands of our kind Artist; however, He looks past our brokenness and again, sees our beautiful potential and continues to shape us into another work of art. . .a renewed, redeemed, and purified creation.

As I photographed, edited, and began writing, the Lord spoke to me and what He said to me, He now says to you: You may see yourself as unworthy, as dirty and broken, and as a lost cause; but He sees you as worthy and He sees you as valuable and He is raising you up as a vessel to be used for His glory. He longs to reshape, to reform, to renew, and to redeem us, but we must be willing to trust Him with our entire being.

“‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.'” -Jeremiah 18:6

I have learned that while being reshaped and renewed by the Lord is a beautiful and incredible process, it can also be a painful journey. Despite the pain and the trial, we are safely kept like precious treasure in the hand of an ever-so-gracious Artist; He has taught me to cling to Him and to trust Him (like clay clings to and trusts its potter), knowing that His promise is true:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” -Jeremiah 29:11

Our incredibly creative God has left His fingerprints on us and has written His word on us, just as a potter’s fingerprints imprint the clay as it spins. If we take the time to pause, look, and dwell on the fact that we carry the very fingerprints of God, not only on our physical selves, but also within our stories, we will begin to see the magnificence and the beauty of our faithful Father who has created us into vessels for His glory. It’s incomprehensible that a King so mighty would choose to place His hands in the clay, in the midst of my broken life, and choose to get His hands dirty in order to mold me into His perfect vessel.

His strong, yet gentle hands have molded us into a receptacle of His unfailing love. Our Father does not allow us to return to Him empty, shapeless, or useless; but we return to Him as a new creation, as a work of art crafted by His very own hands. Every color, every crack, every shape, every line tells a beautiful and impacting story. A story of new life, a story of renewed hope, and a story of loving redemption.  I highly encourage you to take the time to search for the fingerprints of God not only on you and your story, but also on the stories of others around you. The most beautiful creation in all of creation is God’s sons and daughters.

“Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, ‘Why did you shape me like this?’ Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?” -Romans 9:20-21

Often we doubt the Author of our stories, we wonder why they are the way they are, and we compare them to others; however, God does not see one story as less valuable or less beautiful than another, but instead, He sees them as an incredible opportunity to be used for His glory and used to impact lives in such unique and different ways.

How exciting is it to know that we are not left the way we are, but instead we are lifted out of the ash heap and seated with princes, that we are lifted out of a clump of clay and created into promising and useful artwork. Like a potter’s artwork, we are all intricate people, each of us shaped and formed differently by our stories. The colors, the bumps, the cracks, and the shape says something about where we come from and that is the most beautiful thing a human being carries with them.

I am eternally thankful for the gentle, strong, gifted, and creative hands of my Potter; everyday I will praise Him for He is my Creator, my Artist, and my Redeemer.

“Yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” -Isaiah 64:8

A HUGE THANK YOU to Kendra, Katie, and Jordan for allowing me to photograph you and your incredible artwork in order to bring this photography vision to life. I cannot thank you enough and I am so humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to capture you and your art. I am so excited to continue to see how the Lord uses all of you and your gifts for His glory! Love you all.

-Abigail.